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Benelli 254 Quattro

Prior to the new De Tomaso era, Benelli had plans to built a series of two-stroke machines, to confront the Yamaha RD models, very popular in Europe and import restricted in the Italian market.

The first of these was the 125 2C dated on November 1971, and few months later Benelli launched the 250 2C. Itґs was not a full new machine but a big bore 125 2C using only new few components.

Its main claim to fame lay in succes in the italian hillclimb championships and Formula 3 (Sports) racing. The racing specialist REC company made a special kit water cooled version with much tuning and 6 speeds gearbox, extracting 46 bhp at 11.500 rpm. The lack of reliability due to the crank factory design and the best success of the Yamaha TZ race models, restricted the diffusion of this model outside of Italy or Spain.

This model ran from late 1972 to 1982, and remained largely unaltered throughout its ten year life span. This confirm that the engine in original especs is very reliable, but the electrics in 6 v. are the nightmare of the model.

In 1976 came what was the definitive Benelli roadster multi, the 254. This time al least, Benelli couldnґt be accused of copying, as the 254 was all their own work. As if the 750 Sei was the first six cylinder bike in the market, the 254 was the first road-going four stroke 250 four.

The international opinion about this model was very positive, and it was unique in every conceivable way. Futuristically-styled, it was small and very light weighing only 117 kg. From its tank top-positioned combined speedo/tacho console, with warning lights, to the delicate 12-spoke cast alloy wheels, neat red plastic dummy tank side panels and racing-type seat, the tiny four was something completly different. The only black point was itґs excessive price, double that of a Yamaha RD 250.

No question, because the Benelli was not faster and not as reliable as the japanese in general.

Very few 254 were sold and there are still many units for sale in the original crate.

2 -. ON THE ROAD:

Itґs not an easy job to have these machines for a test, but in this case both are mine. The 250 2C itґs in restored condition and the 254 itґs in original condition with only 4.000 km. on the clock.

The 250 2C has a more classical look, with spocked wheels, drum brakes and separated fuel tank, seat and side panels. The 254 itґs smaller with cast wheels and a lot of red plastic here and there with a thin seat.

The only way to start de two stroke itґs by kick pedal and the 254 only with electric motor.

The sound of the 2C itґs like all twin two strokes, very excyting, spinning fast and into a cloud of blue smoke. The 254 itґs disappointing when firing because the sound itґs too loud as a 500 trought the original two silencers. No racing sound no smoke at all.

Benelli 254 Quattro
Benelli 254 Quattro

Bad beginning!!


On the road the 254 itґs a little machine and feel as a little machine with mopped tyres and only 117 dry kg. No engine under 4.000 rpm and the fun start from 6.000 rpm and the smile open your face from 8.500 to 12.000 rpm. What a beautifull engine.

What a beautifull gearbox. What a beautifull handling. but what a shit of brakes!

The riding position, the controls place, the wood-feel seat and the rear shocks put things on the right place. Itґs only a toy to play, a miniature masterpiece, an Italian styling exercise, not a bike for riding.

Changing on the 250 2C itґs to ride a real classic motorcycle: good frame, good handling, normal riding position, good tyres, good seat feel, normal brakes and good engine power band. From tickover to 6.000 rpm the actitude itґs for touring but if you open throttle to 8.500 rpm the racing vocation appears with that sound that only a twin two strokes can made. This is not a beautifull toy but a real motorcycle.

Itґs easy to understand why this model has been unaltered throughout its ten year life catalogue.

FINAL TEST 250 2c

Benelli 254 Quattro
Benelli 254 Quattro
Benelli 254 Quattro
Benelli 254 Quattro
Benelli 254 Quattro

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